Criminal Convictions and Rehabilitation

If you have committed an offence or been convicted of a crime, you may be criminally inadmissible and not be allowed to enter Canada.

Statutes such as the Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act list various offences and crimes that can result in criminal inadmissibility; for example, theft, assault, manslaughter, dangerous driving, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and possession of or trafficking in drugs or controlled substances.

However, depending on the particular crime, how long ago it was committed, and how you have behaved since committing the crime, you may still be allowed into Canada if you are deemed rehabilitated, your rehabilitation application is approved, you are granted a record suspension, or you hold a Temporary Resident Permit.

Deemed rehabilitation may be found if enough time has passed since you were convicted so that your crime may no longer bar you from entering Canada.

You may apply for individual rehabilitation to enter Canada if you can show that you are highly unlikely to participate in a further crime and otherwise meet relevant criteria. At least 5 years must have passed since the end of any imposed criminal sentence (including probation) and the day when you committed the offence that rendered you inadmissible.

Individuals who have been convicted in Canada may apply for a record suspension (formerly a pardon). If you are granted a Canadian record suspension, you will no longer be inadmissible. If you received a record suspension or a discharge for a conviction in a country outside of Canada, it may or may not be valid in Canada.

A Temporary Resident Permit may let you enter Canada if less than 5 years have passed since the end of your sentence or if you have a valid reason to be in Canada. It should also be shown that your need to go to Canada outweighs the health and safety risks to Canadian society.

In addition to the general criteria outlined above, there are further requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a Temporary Resident Permit or Rehabilitation.

For a confidential discussion about your specific circumstances, and the requirements to apply for Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit, please contact Tamas Immigration and Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant Agoston Tamas (ICCRC No. R507054).